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Case Law Updates for August 2017

Posted by Michael W. Sullivan on Aug 22, 2017 9:30:00 AM
Michael W. Sullivan

To keep Sullivan on Comp up to date on a monthly basis, our team dives into each panel decision and new laws to include an explanation of how each case fits within the workers' compensation scheme. Below is a sampling of this month's updates. Complete discussions of these topics can be found on Sullivan on Comp.

CHAPTER 4: EMPLOYMENT

In Chappin v. Peninsula Sports, Inc., 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 258, the WCAB held that a teacher, who was injured while officiating a high school football game, was an employee of Peninsula Sports, which supplied sports officials to local entities. 

 

CHAPTER 5: INJURY

In Lapesarde v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 269, the WCAB held that a licensed vocational nurse's injury was not compensable under the special mission exception to the going and coming rule when he was not credible as to whether the extra hours he worked were undertaken at the request of or for the benefit of the employer. 

In Steil v. Santa Barbara Community College District, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 275, the WCAB held that a college tutor sustained a compensable injury when he was injured while skateboarding to an unscheduled and unauthorized tutoring session. 

 

CHAPTER 7: MEDICAL TREATMENT

In Payne v. Federal Express, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 243,  the WCAB held that a 2003 compromise and release, which included a specific agreement to use an AME to determine medical treatment disputes, precluded the use of the IMR process to resolve a treatment dispute. 

In Barragan v. T&T Marketing Services, Inc., 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 233, the WCAB upheld an IMR determination that a prescription for Norco was not medically necessary and appropriate, based on the 2016 MTUS Chronic Pain Medical Treatment (CPMT) Guidelines and the 2016 MTUS Opioids Treatment Guidelines. 

In Callejo v. Trinity Building Maintenance, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 234, the WCAB upheld a WCJ's determination that a defendant's failure to comply with an applicant's request for a medical access assistant to set up an appointment for him with an MPN physician resulted in a denial of care. 

In Enciso v. Toys "R" Us, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 262, the WCAB held that a WCJ erroneously found that a lien by First Line Health Los Angeles was stayed by operation of LC 4615 based on an indictment of one of the lien claimant's owners, Dr. David Johnson.

 

CHAPTER 10: PERMANENT DISABILITY

In Nowlin v. City of Pacific Grove, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 274, the WCAB rescinded a 100 percent permanent total disability award based on LC 4662(a)(2) when the evidence did not support the WCJ's finding that applicant lost the use of both hands.

In Jansen v. FolgerGraphics, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 241, the WCAB rejected an applicant's contention that, pursuant to LC 4661.15, he was entitled to payment of retroactive permanent total disability (PTD) benefits at the current permanent total disability rate, and held that LC 4661.5 does not affect the rate of PTD payments paid beyond two years from the applicant's permanent and stationary date.

 

CHAPTER 14: DISCOVERY AND SETTLEMENT

In Perez v. Roman Catholic Bishop of San Jose, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 270, the WCAB upheld a WCJ's decision ordering disclosure of investigators' reports regarding surveillance. 

In Chavez v. Frank Fiala Roofing, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 235, the WCAB quashed a defendant's subpoena for deposition of the applicant's wife on the grounds that the subpoena was procedurally deficient and on the grounds of the marital privilege under Evidence Code 970 and Evidence Code 980.

In Camberos v. Lyon, et al., dba Taco Bell, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 256, the WCAB held that if an unrepresented applicant was evaluated by a panel QME but the evaluator was replaced after the applicant gained representation, the procedures for selecting a QME under LC 4062.2 would apply.

In Chand v. Macy's, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 257, the WCAB denied a defendant's petition for removal challenging a WCJ's order denying the defendant's request to quash the applicant's subpoena duces tecum

 

CHAPTER 15: PRETRIAL LITIGATION

In Vargas v. Becker, Becker Construction, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 276, the WCAB allowed an applicant's wife to testify at trial even though she was not disclosed at the MSC when her testimony was needed to confirm the applicant's identity.

 

CHAPTER 16: TRIAL AND APPEAL

 In Vargas v. Becker, Becker Construction, 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 276, the WCAB held that a WCJ did not err in allowing an applicant to testify remotely, from Mexico, on an iPhone and/or iPad using Apple's FaceTime application. 

 

Topics: Case Law Updates